Potters & Sculptors - Making Rock from Mud
In getting my studio set up after a 40 year detour, I did not want to spend a huge amount of money. I began making all varieties of things myself. It turned out to be much simpler, easier than I initially anticipated. Three of my projects ended up being published in ceramics journals. They are attached to comments to this topic. I also have a number of other projects for which I have not not been written up for publication that I will be adding as comments to this topic. I invite others to add descriptions of their projects to this topic.
That's a great idea for grinding greenware. you probably need to fasten it in some way so you can easily empty out the grinding refuse. Otherwise it is going to load up quickly and stop sanding.
I'm not sure if this stuff is tough enough to deal with bisque or glaze fired pots. if you grinding bisque or glaze fired look further up in this discussion to April 3 when I posted how to make bottom grinder suitable for bisque or glaze fired stuff.
heat kills diamonds very quickly. So if you do any grinding with diamonds make sure you flush the surface with lots of water while you're grinding
When I put my electric kiln in the basement, discovered that it put out enough fumes to give me a headache when firing. So a kiln vent was in order. I decided the commercial units were too expensive for what they are made from so I opted to build my own. The little 4" duct fan I purchased didn't develop enough suction to reverse the bottom to top heat flow in my kiln.
So I got a powerful Vortek 4" fan that has excess drawing power.
That could have been the end of the story, but when I saw what Steven Hill was doing by spraying glazes, I knew I had to have a spray booth. Again being the cheapskate that I am, I was horrified by the prices of spray booths. It occurred to me that if my booth had a small enough opening, I might be able to use my kiln vent fan to vent the spray booth. I was thinking of building the box out of wood, but decided to look for alternatives. Steven's booth was built from a fiberglas shower stall. Off I went to Home Depot in search of the perfect spray booth. I ended up getting the biggest Rubbermaid plastic storage box I could find.
I cut out one end of it and cut a 4" hole in the other end, and added a 4" duct adaptor. I just sit the thing upside down on top of my kiln an connect it to my vent and it makes a serviceable spray booth. I buy cheap furnace filters, cut them in half and layer 3 of them in front of the exhaust to trap as much glaze overspray as possible.
My setup is a little small but quite useable. It captures most of the overspray, except when spraying a hollow form like the inside of a bowl that sends the spray back at me with enough velocity to overcome the fan's draw, but I wear a respirator when spraying, so it's not that big a problem. I've done three spraying sessions and am pretty happy with my setup. -George Lewter-
Update Feb. 8, 2112
What I have allows me to spray glazes and contain almost all of the overspray. I go through a fair amount of furnace filters and the glaze in the filters is wasted.
800-1,000 cfm is the recommended air movement for spray booths. Mine is only 160 cfm, serviceable, but not a strong intake - go higher if possible with 6-8" vent piping. Its what I had already in use for my kiln vent. More air movement is better.
I plan to replace the plastic box with the tub from an old dishwasher for better size and easier cleaning. The bottom half of a broken 36" fiberglass shower is also a good choice. Plumbing supply places frequently have them that have been damaged in shipment. The air outlet will be at the top. It will also work better if I get around to a water bath system which would spray water down the walls and into a reservoir with a recirculating pump. The glaze would settle to the bottom and clearer water nearer the top would be drawn up to again for spraying down the walls. This would capture most overspray and keep the used glaze for recycling into scrap glaze.
Re: Cheapskate Spray Booth
If you just want a spray booth (as opposed to a kiln vent/spray booth combo), I have found a couple of dust collector systems at Harbor Freight that should work better than the vortex fan that I have been using. Both move a lot more air (600 to 900 CFM) and can be stowed away, rather than being part of a permanent vent system. Both appear to be pretty noisy as well, and would be best placed outside your studio, but as close to the spray booth as possible.
http://www.harborfreight.com/1-hp-mini-dust-collector-94029.html Is available in store only and was sale priced at $60 regular price $80
This second unit is larger and more powerful. It looks like they will ship it if you want to buy online.
On sale it is $130 regularly $140
With any spray booth system, you need to collect as much dust as possible in the booth itself, either with filters and baffles, or a water bath running down the walls. Any remaining dust should be piped outside of the building. DO NOT DEPEND ON THE BAGS SHOWN HERE TO CAPTURE SILICA AND TOXIC METAL OXIDES. They won't work and they will quickly clog, stopping the air flow through the spray booth.
This is a great wealth of info for everyone. Thank you so much for posting it all here. I've had hit and miss DIY equipment. A total fail at a slab roller attempt. Pottery Making Illustrated ran an article about a DIY slab roller and It looked strong enough so I gave it a go. Despite everything I could do to strengthen the bar and roller. The clay always flexed it. No matter how much I prepped my "to be" slabs... no matter how much I reinforced my roller. Be wary of these ABS and PVC slab rollers. Clay is mightier. I will definitely be creating some sort of vent in my new studio space. This is a great starting place for it.